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02 OCTOBER 2014


Lennox backs Williams to defeat Klitschko

By Anthony Evans: Lennox Lewis believes the World Heavyweight Title will be back in Great Britain just 10 months after he announced his retirement as undefeated king of boxing's big men. Lewis believes fellow Londoner Danny Williams pic by Mr Will will reclaim the crown for the country of his birth when he challenges Lewis's old foe Vitali Klitschko for the WBC heavyweight title on December 11.

The 39-year-old Lewis fought 2003's Fight of the Year against the giant Ukrainian and has identified three keys to victory for the 31-year-old Williams.

Lewis said: "I thought Danny Williams did great against Mike Tyson and now Danny has three great ways to beat Klitschko. First, he can go after the cuts around Klitschko's eyes. I totally exposed Klitschko as a fighter who cuts up very badly and Danny should be afraid to exploit that weakness in Klitschko."

Of course, Lewis stopped Klitschko on cuts after six rounds of a wild brawl with Klitschko at the Staples Center in Los Angles. Klitschko required over 50 stitches around his left eye that night and, indeed, that same cut was reopened in Vitali's vacant title winning effort v Corrie Sanders earlier this year. Lewis believes it is a weakness that all future Klitschko opponents should try to exploit.

And former three-time world heavyweight champion Lewis added: "Danny Williams should also definitely, definitely go to Vitali Klitschko's body. When I fought Klitschko I didn't think I was getting to him with the body shots at first but, later on in the rounds, I realised that he becomes very vulnerable to them in the second, third minute of the rounds when he starts breathing heavy.

"Klitschko, like his brother (Wladimir), has a stamina problem and as he takes deeper breaths you can really hurt him to the body. I heard him go 'Ugh!' when I hit him there in the second and third minutes of the rounds.

"Also, I think Danny could outbox Klitschko. That's the other way Williams could become champion. If he keeps his cool he could outbox Klitschko and win a decision."

However, Lewis adds that Klitschko is a hard puncher - as the Ukrainian's 33 knockouts in his 34 wins attests - and the fight will be the toughest of his fellow Briton's career.

"But I give Danny Williams a great shot," Lewis said.

After hearing Lewis's appraisal of his December 11 title tilt (which is most likely to end up taking place in New York's famed Madison Square Garden), Williams said: "It's great to have Lennox in my corner for this title fight. The first big professional fight I ever attended was Lennox knocking out Razor Ruddock back in October 1992 in a fight which proved that British heavyweights can become the best in the world. Lennox has always been a big inspiration to a new generation of British fighters.

"Now with Lennox retired it is down to me to take it to these heavyweights and bring the World Heavyweight Title back to Britain where it belongs."

And Williams added with a wry grin: "And I'd like to send Lennox my thanks for roughing Klitschko up so much in their fight."

Danny's trainer Jim McDonnell, who masterminded the roughhouse tactics which Williams deployed against Tyson in Louisville, Kentucky in July, said: "It's great that a British legend like Lennox Lewis is behind us and we really appreciate his advice and support. Not only is Lennox an all-time great but he's actually been in there and defeated Klitschko (w rsf 6, June 2002) so his advice carries a great deal of weight."

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